A Freakonomics Radio Bleg: What's Your Name?

Want to be part of an episode of Freakonomics Radio? We’re working on a podcast about names and we want to hear from readers and listeners about their own names — common ones, unusual ones, everything in between. So we’ve set up a voicemail line at 646-829-4478. Give us a call and tell us your full name, and then tell us a little bit about your first name – how you got it and what it means. Thanks!

Addendum: Thank you for all your emails and messages! Our line is now closed. Our names podcast will be out on 4/8/2013. 


I wrote a blog post about my name. And since I left off a bunch of stuff on the voicemail--like what my name means in Spanish--I thought you might like to read it. http://www.zerotosixtyinoneyear.com/2012/05/name-game.html

Dariyn Stedman

My name isn't too common. Although I've heard "Darian" or "Darien" pronounced like my name, I have yet to meet someone with it spelled like mine. The name seems to be pretty common for black males, but I am a white female. Even though it is a bit of a strange name to have, I am rarely teased about my name. To my surprise, it gets lots of compliments. People with common names are typically more successful. So far, I have been just as successful despite my uncommon name.

Woody Crobar

My name is Woody Crobar (both of those are the full name, not short for anything).

As the story goes my mother was looking for a unique name and saw it in magazine article.

My last name is a more interesting story. According to census data the name "Crobar" is virtually unheard of. In fact, my family is the only family in existence that appears to have this name (there are three families in North America that have this name, and we're all related to each other). I don't know the history of the name "Crobar" but I suspect that it was a rather boring "Americanization" of the name Krauberg or a related German name from when my family first arrived in America.


My name is Jwaan Adib, my mum is Iraqi and my dad is Kurdish/German. 'Jwaan' means beautiful in Kurdish language. I was born in England and so my parents had to find a suitable name that could be appropriate for the Brits, so I guess Jwaan was then made into Joanne, which is the spelling on my passport. It gets awkward introducing myself to new people because I'm never sure whether to go for Jwaan, Joanne or Jo. Depends on the audience I guess!

Pey-Lih Littler

Since I am emailing and not calling your voicemail line, my name is pronounced "Pay-Lee" It's not Pee Wee, not Payless, not Pele the soccer player. It's very simple: Pay-Lee. People often ask me, "What does your name mean?" When I was young and cheeky, I used to tell people that my name translated to "beautiful white clouds in the mountains hovering above the forest waiting to break rain on your newly washed car." I think the part about the car ruined the flow of the picture. Anyways, here's the real meaning. The chinese character "Pey" stands for respect, to admire and "Lih" (the second half of my FIRST name) is derived from the jasmine flower. It is common for asian girls to have this second character in their name. Littler (pronounced Lit-Ler) is British. This is my married name. Pey-Lih was the name my grandmother gave me when I was born.

Adam C. Austin

My oldest child we named Corbin Ronal. Originally we wanted to name him Jude, but we changed our minds at the last minute when we saw Corbin Berstien's name pop up in the credits for the TV show Psych, and liked the name so much that we had to make the change.

Ronal on the other hand is a family name by way of my father who was named James Ronal. His father was named Ronald James and so when it came time to name my father his parents told the nurse at the hospital that his name would be "James Ronald", but my fathers parents were poor, uneducated people with big cournty drawls living in rural Arkansas, and so when they told the nurse (who was slightly more educated and also living in rural Arkansas) that my father would be named "James Ronald" the "d" got lost in the drawl and the nurse understood it as James "Ronal." No one caught it at the time and so my dad's middle name was forever "Ronal."


Libby Cecchi

No, my name is not as unusual as a lot of them posted here, but I'm writing to you today because I truly like my name. My parents named me Libby but my paternal grandmother recommended they use "Elizabeth" on my birth certificate (interesting fact: Elizabeth is the name with the most number of diminutives). I always liked that I was the only Libby around and secretly enjoyed when people used to sing me the "Libby's Libby's Libby's" song from the commercials, even though I rolled my eyes. The only problems I have with the name are when I travel, so I switch to the more universally known Elizabeth.